4 top regional pet food companies

We take a look at the top pet food company in each of four global regions.

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Design by Tess Stukenberg | Seregraff, Shutterstock.com
Design by Tess Stukenberg | Seregraff, Shutterstock.com

In August 2017, Petfood Industry highlighted the top five global pet food companies and their growth in 2016. This year, we focus on the top company in each of four regions, according to Petfood Industry’s Top Pet Food Companies Database.

North America: Mars Petcare Inc.

Annual revenue: US$17.22 billion in 2017

Country: United States

Analysis: Mars maintains its top spot in both the North American and global pet food markets, and in 2018 seems to be prioritizing acquisitions that will expand its presence beyond pet food and into various pet care segments, such as veterinary (which Mars entered in 1994 via its partnership with Banfield Pet Hospital) and genetics research.

Recent developments: In June 2018, Mars Petcare’s Veterinary Health Group announced its purchase of Linnaeus Group, one of the United Kingdom's leading veterinary services providers, as well as European animal hospital operator AniCura.

Mars Petcare has a long and global history of providing nutrition, veterinary care and science for pets across the globe,” said Poul Weihrauch, president of Mars Petcare, in a press release. “Our veterinary business until now has been in the United States and Canada. Europe is the second-largest region in the world for pet care, and European pet care is expected to grow significantly over the coming years. There is a great opportunity to address growing demand by providing high-quality, consistent veterinary care across Europe.”

In April 2018, Mars acquired OptiGen LLC, a DNA diagnostics company specializing in canine inherited eye disorders. In January 2018, the company acquired Genoscoper Laboratories, a Finland-based molecular diagnostics specialist for companion animals.

“DNA testing is the only way to detect carriers or affected puppies with late-onset forms of inherited canine eye disorders,” said Cynthia Cole, DVM, Ph.D., DACVCP and general manager of Wisdom Health, Mars Petcare’s companion animal genetics business. “Working with breeders, we can help decrease the incidence of these disorders in the future. We're at a pivotal time in companion animal genetic research, and with [the acquisition of OptiGen] we will add to the growing body of knowledge to help veterinarians' ability to predict and treat inherited eye disorders for dogs.”

Europe: Deuerer

Annual revenue: US$721.10 million in 2017

Country: Germany

Analysis: Deuerer continues to look for and take advantage of opportunities that will allow the company to expand and diversify, both in the private label space and within its own brands. With a presence in Europe, Asia and North America, and ownership of several major European brands (including Vitakraft, Pets Choice and Villeneuve Pet Food), Deuerer is among Europe’s largest pet food interests.

Recent developments: In February 2017, Deuerer acquired Kurhessische Fleischwarenfabrik (KFF, renamed KFF pet care GmbH) and converted its meat and sausage production plant to a dog and cat snack food plant, taking advantage of premium segment opportunities in dog and cat treats.

Also in 2016 and 2017, the company underwent comprehensive restructuring, strengthening its commercial and administrative areas and investing in new machinery.

Asia-Pacific: Unicharm Corp.

Annual revenue: US$752.65 million in 2017 ($733.15 million in 2016)

Country: Japan

Analysis: Unicharm dominates the Japanese pet food (and pet care overall) market with its diverse lines of products. Its presence in North America remains steady, with the company focusing on internet sales as e-commerce continues to gain traction in the pet food market.

Recent developments: At the end of May 2018, Jeffries Financial Group estimated that overall, Unicharm will earn US$0.19 per share for fiscal year (FY) 2018. Further forecasts expect shares to continue to trade up, at US$0.22 for FY2019 and US$0.24 for FY2020.

Domestically, in the first quarter of FY2018, Unicharm expanded its Grand Deli brand of dog food with Grand Deli Soft and Easy-to-Eat Ultra-Small Morsels, a product for ultra small dogs (defined as dogs weighing less than 5 kilograms). The line offers products for dogs at all life stages as well as for dogs specifically 13+ years old. The company also launched a cream cheese flavor in its Grand Deli Ottotto brand, dog snacks with crispy texture jointly developed with Morinaga & Co. Ltd.

In the North American market, sales have remained steady in wet-type snacks. In the first quarter of FY2018, preparations were made for future growth, including reinforcing internet sales, which have grown significantly in recent years, and making overtures to pet specialty stores, according to Unicharm’s quarterly report.

Latin America: Total Alimentos SA (subsidiary of Neovia)

Annual revenue: US$181.88 million in 2017

Country: Brazil

Analysis: As with the other companies on this list, Total Alimentos has focused on diversity to stay on top in its regional market. With new products and an expanded presence at international trade shows, Total Alimentos continues to get its name out in the industry on a global stage.

Recent developments: “[The Total Alimentos] portfolio consists of more than 120 products serving all phases of pets,” said Ciro Mariani, marketing and trade marketing director at Neovia (assigned to Total Alimentos, Socil, Presence and Nutrizon), in an interview with Stilo Editora in October 2017. The company has products for early life, including a substitute for breast milk and weaning products, dry food for puppies up to 1 year of age, and dry food for animals over 7 years of age. Total Alimentos products cater to different sizes of pets, varied lifestyles and specific needs. The portfolio includes grain-free products, those focused on coat and skin health, those for digestive sensitivity, functional products and snacks.

Throughout 2017, Total Alimentos expanded its presence in the market both with new products (a relaunch of its Max premium pet food brand with three new products, Max Professional and Max Soft Croc for dogs; their first product for cats, pâtés; an expansion into the grain-free market under its superpremium Equilibrio brand); and an expanded trade show presence.


More on the top pet food companies

2018 Top 50 pet food companies listing: www.PetfoodIndustry.com/articles/7111

2017 Top 5 pet food companies analysis: www.PetfoodIndustry.com/articles/6523

Top Pet Food Companies Database: www.PetfoodIndustry.com/directories/211

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